Libraries have long established resource sharing protocols among local, regional, national, and international networks of libraries that provide discovery, availability and access to collections extending any single library’s in-house collection. These resource sharing networks are critical for libraries to fulfill their service responsibilities. The resource sharing technology market has mirrored much of the library technology marketplace with a consolidation of commercial options, and companies becoming less responsive to customer needs,including product development or enhancement requests, pricing concerns, and service level issues. Most importantly, existing technology solutions represent closed environments, restricting innovation, experimentation, and cross-system communication around this strategic library service.
The Resource Sharing (ReShare) Community is coming together to take action on this strategic concern to bolster libraries’ agency in the provision of resource sharing services. The Community is a collaboration between consortia, libraries, vendors, software developers, and service providers, working together to improve the value and impact of resource sharing networks. We will develop software to support these networks using an open source, community-owned construct to meet current needs, improve user experience, scale to new levels of service and fulfillment, and provide a platform for innovation in resource sharing.
The Resource Sharing Community will operate as an open community – encouraging wide and diverse participation by libraries, consortia, vendors, and service providers and others aligned with purpose and mission of the community.
The Community establishes a Steering Committee that has overall responsibility for the Community and its projects. The Steering Committee provides comprehensive oversight for the Community and is responsible for setting the strategic roadmap, arbitrates resource allocation and commitment, and manages risk and funding for the Community efforts. Members of the Steering Committee represent their organization, but fundamentally act in the interest of the Community. The Steering Committee charges additional operational groups and will populate those groups with relevant subject matter experts.
- Steering Committee members are permitted a maximum of two members per organization.
- The Steering Committee appoints a Chair to serve a two year term.
- From time to time, and as space becomes available, the Steering Committee may elect to add additional members from the Stakeholder Committee described below.
- Community consensus is the goal for all decisions, but in the absence of consensus, the Steering Committee may use a majority vote.
The Community also establishes a Stakeholder Committee to encourage participation and facilitate community investment in the project. The resource needs will be dictated by the overall Community vision, and practically, by the Steering Committee roadmap. Our approach to generating the needed resources is an investment model – stakeholders, acting out of self-interest in advancing the Community, align around a shared vision and invest resources into the project. What constitutes a strategic investment is determined by the Stakeholders and is not a predefined monetary or resource threshold. Participants that make a strategic investment in the project and act on behalf of the community, and not solely for the proprietary interests of their parent organization, will be invited to participate on the Stakeholder Committee. Stakeholders view their contributions as strategic investments to build the community and to attract other aligned institutions and organizations to the Community to better ensure its long-term sustainability, not simply as a means to a product solution.
- Any community member may be invited by the current Stakeholders or make a request to be recognized as a Stakeholder. The Stakeholders will determine eligibility based on recognition of sustained, substantial contribution to the Community.
- Stakeholders join the Community to support its efforts and outcomes, and to have a say in direction and vision. In return, the Stakeholders commit resources to the project in the form of staff, development resources, or funding that can be used by the Community to achieve its goals.
- The Stakeholder Committee represents the primary pool of organizations the Steering Committee will pull from when charging and populating any additional operational groups.
Review & Changes to Governance
This document should receive annual review by the Steering and Stakeholder Committees. The ReShare Community anticipates future growth and an expanded participation in its Committees and Interest Groups as it establishes itself and develops community tools. As such, the Steering Committee may vote to change or amend its governance structure at any time as adjustments become necessary in achieving the Community’s goals.